Netflix is finally shuttering what was once the central concept of the 25-year-old company: DVDs that you rent online and come in the mail. These days, of course, Netflix is a streaming titan, and as we've also seen in gaming over the past 25 years, physical media is disappearing. September 29 will be the last day of service for those who still eagerly await the arrival of red envelopes in their postbox.
On September 29th, 2023, we will send out the last red envelope. It has been a true pleasure and honor to deliver movie nights to our wonderful members for 25 years. Thank you for being part of this incredible journey, including this final season of red envelopes. pic.twitter.com/9lAntaL2wwApril 18, 2023
"It has been a true pleasure and honor to deliver movie nights to our wonderful members for 25 years," said Netflix in a tweet. "Thank you for being part of this incredible journey." (Perhaps a bit much considering we're talking about putting discs in envelopes.)
If you want to rock like the coolest dad on the block in 1999, you can still experience the novelty of DVDs in the mail for a few more months. Netflix does still have all manner of new movies on DVD. They've got Cocaine Bear, even. You can (literally) check that out on dvd.netflix.com.
Renting DVDs was where the company got its start, but that was a long time ago in tech years. Netflix started its streaming service in 2007. Reports earlier this year noted that the DVD rental service's revenue dropped by $100M in 2022, netting a mere $100M in revenue. A thriving business to us mere mortals, but apparently the margin's just not there for Netflix.
That's a sentiment that Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos echoed in a blog post.
"After an incredible 25 year run, we've decided to wind down DVD.com later this year. Our goal has always been to provide the best service for our members but as the business continues to shrink that's going to become increasingly difficult. So we want to go out on a high," he said.
Sarandos' post ends on a few cute stats. Netflix has shipped over 5.2 billion DVDs, and the first one ever was Beetlejuice, on March 10, 1998. The most popular rental? American Football drama The Blind Side, starring Sandra Bullock—which came out in 2009, some 11 years after the service started.
You can read Sarandos' post on the Netflix blog, should you hunger for more.